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Trek Overview

Trek was established in 1976 by Dick Burke and Bevil Hogg in Waterloo, Wisconsin, making handmade steel bicycle frames. 1) When the rest of the larger manufacturers were off-shoring to Taiwan and Japan, Trek committed to building high end bikes in the USA, which it continued to mostly do through the 1980s. 2) Since then, Trek has acquired Bontrager, Gary Fisher, Klein, LeMond, Electra and grew its revenues from $6 million in 1983, the year it launched its first mountain bike, to $1B by 2015, selling over a million bikes a year. 3)

Bevil left Trek in 1985 and founded Kestrel, in Santa Cruz, and produced the first all carbon frame in 1986. 4)

Trek founders
Trek founders trekbikes

1983 Trek 850

A handsome selection of black components and lugs with red accents. Designed by Tim Isaac 5). Note the quick release under the saddle to quickly move the seat forwards and backwards (for switching between uphill and downhill??)

Cost: $580 6)

Catalog scans at: vintage trek and vintage trek.

1983 Trek 850
1983 Trek 850 dahlquistcycleworks

1984 Trek 830

Trek added a slightly down market option with the 830, which used up the left over 1983 850 components, while the new 850 introduced the new Shimano XT group set.

Trek also briefly made an 890 ATB for the “urban canyon” with 26×1.5 tires, steeper geometry and higher gearing. 7)

1984 price list 8)

  • 830 : $469
  • 850 : $669
  • 890 : $499

1984 Trek 830
1984 Trek 830 mtbr

1985 Trek 870

Almost identical in specs to the 850 (exact same frame & components) except with the addition of narrower tires, perhaps to make up for the extra weight of added bottle cages and toe straps. A rare bicycle.

1985 Trek 870
1985 Trek 870 vintage-trek

1986 Antelope 850

SunTour XC gruppo, Reynolds 531 tubing. Solid axles. Specialized cranks…

1986 850
1986 850 mombat

1987 8000XT Aluminum

Shimano Deore XT gruppo, aluminum frame, 27.1 pounds.

1987 8000XT
1987 8000XT bikeforums

1988 8500

Shimano Deore XT gruppo, aluminum frame. Hite-Rite saddle dropper as a standard accessory. Catalog pic.

1988 8500
1988 8500 retrobike

1989 850 Antelope

Shimano Mountain LX group, skinny 1.5“ tires. A low end Trek, below the 950, 970, 990, 7000, 8000, 8500, yet a cut above the 830.

1989 850
1989 850 Antelope offerup

1990 8900 Pro

SunTour XC Pro group, carbon composite frame, aluminum lugs.
Trek finally introduces a carbon composite MTB, which first debuted on their 1986 2500 road bike, to great success.

1990 8900 Pro
1990 8900 Pro photo by Trek, facebook

1991 6000

Low end of Trek's aluminum range. SunTour XC LTD group (1991-?). Neon yellow. The pic does not have original components. None do…

I’ll tell ya, my least favorite bike in the history of Trek is the 1991 6000. It was neon-yellow bike with black splash paint. It was perhaps the worst bike that we ever produced. It didn’t shift well, the brakes sucked. I kept the bike for about 20 years as a memory to never do anything like that again. John Burke, Trek CEO pinkbike

1991 6000
1991 6000 tkvco

Production Notes

[1]. Many. Trek sold 45,000 bikes in 1984 9)

Today, they're made mostly in Asia, but retain quite a bit of manufacturing in the US: ((wikipedia
Early revenue numbers differ. “During the early 1980s, sales virtually doubled each year.” See: refenceforbusiness
Along with the first carbon fork, and many other firsts: wikipedia
see prototype pic at: dirtscrolls and discussion at: mombat
Only in the 1984 catalog: vintage trek
trek/start.txt · Last modified: 2022/08/07 13:52 by mtbtimeline